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Open Access Publications from the University of California


The Berkeley Planning Journal is an annual peer-reviewed journal published by graduate students in the Department of City and Regional Planning (DCRP) at the University of California, Berkeley since 1985.

Volume 27

Issue cover

Journal Submissions

Assessing the Equity of Changing Travel Behaviors

This research makes the radical claim that there is a social equity differences between the travel patterns of disadvantaged and non- disadvantaged groups. This research then proposes and applies an innovative methodology to help planners assess the social equity of policy interventions that result in changing travel behaviors. This methodology distinguishes between outcome equity and impact equity, proffers non-parametric and parametric statistical tests for identifying the existence (or absence) of both types of equity, and presents a theoretical framework of ranked scenarios, applies this methodology to survey data collected after a disruption in retail land use patterns in post-soviet Prague to both identify equity model.

LEED-ND and Livability Revisited

This study examines LEED-ND’s criteria for Neighborhood Pattern and Design (NPD). LEED-ND was developed as a system for rating new neighborhoods on the sustainability of their planning. However, it has increasingly been adopted by cities as a de facto measure of “livable” neighborhood design and used to accelerate development processes. We hypothesize that these criteria do not area is Temescal, a gentrifying neighborhood in Oakland, CA. livability very highly. Furthermore, residents consistently rated and ranked NPD characteristics quite differently than did LEED-ND, system. We propose that a single set of weighted, prescriptive desired amenities of different communities.

The "Mortgage Consensus” and the Housing Bubble: Revisiting the Post-Fordism Debate

Over half a decade after the collapse of home prices in 2006, and with no shortage of books and essays on the ensuing crisis, the place of the housing bubble in political economic remains contested. Preoccupations of scholars have been high levels of income inequality model, through this brief essay I hope to highlight the usefulness of a debate that preoccupied geographers between the 1970s and 1990s, and suggest how theoretical and empirical work since, as well as the illuminating shock of the Great Recession, should compel us to interpret the political economic function of the housing bubble.



This research proposes and applies an innovative methodology to help planners assess the social equity of policy for disadvantaged and non-disadvantaged population groups.  This methodology distinguishes between outcome equity and impact equity, proffers non-parametric and parametric statistical tests for identifying the existence (or absence) of both types of equity, and presents a theoretical framework of ranked scenarios which integrate the findings from the statistical tests.  This research then applies this methodology to land use / transportation research by examining the equity of changes in shopping travel behaviors that have accompanied the emergence of new retail land uses on the fringe of Prague.  Finally, this research evaluates both the specific equity findings from the Prague data set as well as the general utility of the proposed equity model.


Is Rail Worth It?

Much has been made recently of Los Angeles’s transformation to a transit- friendly city. A speaker at this spring’s Transit & Cities conference at UC Berkeley, hosted by the Institute of Urban and Regional Development, lamented the increasingly prohibitive housing prices in Downtown LA, even as there is demand for commuters to live closer to work and spend less time in their cars. Yet the traditional view of transit riders of “necessity” versus “choice” pits low-income bus riders against more affluent rail riders and raises questions about the much higher cost per rider of rail. What can planning scholars and practitioners do to inform and enlighten the political process around rail and bus development? What are the metrics by which we should evaluate investment in different forms of transit infrastructure before and after it is built? What should be the relationship between equity, cost, and political feasibility? The BPJ editors posed these questions to Professor Martin Wachs of UCLA and Professor Ethan Elkind of UC Berkeley after their recent IURD Transit & Cities lecture on Elkind’s 2014 book, Railtown: The Fight for the Los Angeles Metro Rail and the Future of the City (UC Press). The talk focused on the history of rail politics in LA and served as a useful springboard for further discussion in this journal on the role of planners today in promoting equitable mobility in cities.

A Conversation with Manuel Castells

On October 25, 2013, the Berkeley Planning Journal hosted Professor Manuel Castells in a round-table discussion with doctoral and master’s students from the Department of City and Regional Planning. Professor Castells is a leading expert worldwide in the social sciences. He is Professor Emeritus of City and Regional Planning and of Sociology at UC Berkeley, where he taught from 1979 to 2003. The Spanish sociologist is a prominent scholar globalization, and information society, and currently holds the Wallis Annenberg Chair in Communication Technology and Society at the University of Southern California.

The round-table discussion coincided with Professor Castells’s lecture at the College of Environmental Design entitled “Space of Flows and Space of Places in Networked Social Movements” and follows the publication of his most recent book, Networks of Outrage and Hope (2012). Both the lecture and the discussion focused on Castells’s most recent work on new forms of social movements and protests that are erupting across the world, from the Arab uprisings to the indignadas of Spain and the Occupy Wall Street movement in the United States. Jake Wegmann served as the discussion moderator.

Photo Essays

Still Life Architecture

Turkey’s biggest villa city eco-project located near Çatalca in İstanbul fails in fulfilling the aspects of an ecological planning and moreover becomes a land piece of rows of summer houses on a resource protection area. Despite its large scale planning, this gated villa town has recently turned into a ghost town and a still life architecture without much notice. However, there are remedies for transforming this area into an ecological park by implanting renewable energies.

  • 10 supplemental images
  • 1 supplemental video
  • 3 supplemental files

Book Reviews

What Lies Ahead for the American Metropolis in the Age of Inversion?

A review of three titles: 

A Country of Cities: A Manifesto for an Urban America by Vishaan Chakrabarti Metropolitan Books, 2013

The Great Inversion and the Future of the American City by Alan Ehrenhalt Vintage Books, 2012

The End of the Suburbs: Where the American Dream Is Moving by Leigh Gallagher Penguin, 2013